Blackboard CHALK is used not only by teachers in public and private Primary and Secondary schools in Nigeria, but also by others such as tailors, technicians, furniture makers, designers, construction workers, etc. The demand drivers for chalk are active and growing; hence school (blackboard) chalk is a commodity in constant demand.
School chalk production is a simple business you can start at home. You don't require much money if you can start on a manual production mode, with just yourself and a helper. In that case you need not worry about electricity or generator until you decide to raise your production capacity using automated processes.
Who Can do this Business?
Are you ready to sweat? Are you ready to put both your brain and brawn to work? You don't mind getting your hands untidy? You're not put off by mixing chemicals? You don't have a 'get-rich-overnight' mentality? Then you're welcome!
This is a simple straightforward business anyone willing to work hard can actually start at home, with little capital and no labour or power issues to worry about.
The Process: You need to learn how to make quality school chalk. This you can do by reading about it (buy a Chalk Production Manual), visiting a skills acquisition centre near you, or learning from someone already in the business.
Space: You need operating space to store raw materials, place the moulds, and for drying (under the sun) and packaging the chalk sticks.
You need Chalk Moulds (usually made of metal or plastic) that meet industry standard specifications. Moulds are the main equipment for chalk production.
Moulds have holes into which the mixed paste is filled. The mould gives your chalk its shape, size and length.
A manual mould could have up to 60, 72, 120, 144 or even 240 holes; and this determines the quantity of chalk sticks produced in one go.
Others things you need include Mixers (large basin or bucket) Scrapper, Cup, Lubricants, paint Brush and Packaging items (small cartons or nylon packs).
For a small scale manual production, sun drying is adequate. No need for Dryer yet.
Safety and personal protection items such as Safety boots, Hand gloves and face masks are recommended.
The Raw Materials
The raw materials for chalk production include: Plaster of Paris (POP), Calcium Carbonate (makes the chalk sticks smooth and less dusty), and colorants (for making coloured chalk).
Plaster of Paris is the main ingredient for chalk making. POP and Calcium Carbonate form a quick hardening paste when mixed with water.
Clean water is the solvent for dissolving and mixing the chemical components into a smooth paste.
For easy of operation, lubricants (usually cooking oil mixed with kerosene) are used to keep the moulds smooth and free from sticky paste.
The Production Process
The production process is simple:
Pour the right quantities of POP and Calcium Carbonate into your mixer bowl. Mix thoroughly and then add water. Add colour if necessary. Stir until you have a very smooth paste.
Lubricate the mould; then pour the paste into the holes. Leave to set (15 – 20 minutes). Dismantle mould and remove chalk sticks. Leave the chalk sticks under the sun to dry for 2 to 3 days.
Arrange and package the dry smooth chalk sticks for the market and supply.
Start-up Success Tips
Register a business name (as soon as you can).
Learn the tips and tricks of making high quality chalk. Purchase a good and detailed Chalk Making manual.
You may need to visit a producer to get more information on components mixing ratios, and answers to any other questions.
Prioritize your time between sourcing for raw materials, actual production, packaging and marketing of your product.
Visit your neighbourhood schools and other prospective users of your product and give them free samples of your product. Then politely ask for their order when next you visit.
Be sure to produce high quality chalk; as well as meet the quantity demanded by your customers.
Is it Profitable?
Education at all levels is a continuum. New schools are springing up every year. The demand for school chalk in Nigeria is therefore strong and growing.
The process of chalk production is simple and easy – no technicalities. The raw materials are always available. This is a business you can start small (manual) and grow big (automated).
The market is ready. Demand is always increasing. Profits are guaranteed. What are you waiting for? Start your own School Chalk Production Business today - thank me later!
Stay Smart, Wealthy and Wise!